If Islamists think Sochi represents a good opportunity for attacking Russia, maybe they’ve been influenced by powerful Western elements who for the past year have been using Sochi to precisely those ends.
We’d be shocked, distressed, keen to discover who the culprits were and possibly to clamp down on their suspected associates or sponsors. Yet Russia’s similar feelings of loss and anger are subtly ridiculed by Western observers.
From the old right [actually, the New Right; the Old Right , from Pat Buchanan to Peter Hitchens to John Laughland to Mark Almond to Theodore Dalrymple, is pro-Russian, or in Hitchens’s case at least anti-anti-Russian], who miss the certainties of the West-v-East Cold War period, to new leftish outfits and human-rights groups, who cannot abide Putin’s severe lack of PC on matters such as gay rights and the environment, Putin’s Russia has become a kind of whipping boy for the expression of an often shallow moral fury.
Some observers, including in that key outlet of respectable Western opinion, the New York Times, have said that attending the Sochi Olympics would be as immoral as going to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin overseen by Hitler.
When you make it open season on ‘Evil Russia’, you potentially make it open season for everyone, including those who prefer to detonate literal bombs rather than metaphorical ones against Putin’s regime.
Indeed, where Western campaigners describe the Sochi Games as Hitlerian, an Islamist leader in the Caucasus has described them as ‘Satanic’. Both sides spy an opportunity to attack what they consider to be an evil entity.
In fact, such problems could be made worse by this process – backed into a corner by an opportunistic ‘international community’ and by violent Islamists closer to home, Putin’s Russia could become more rather than less likely to lash out and clamp down.